12 Nov BT-EE merger cleared by Competition and Markets Authority
The Competition and Markets Authority has cleared the proposed BT-EE merger. BT made the announcement earlier this year that it was planning to buy EE and expand its offering with a major stake in the UK mobile market.
In a move that has surprised some in the industry the CMA has stated that it is satisfied that the merger won’t have a negative impact on competition in the broadband and mobile markets in the UK.
The deal will see the creation of a communications giant, trebling BT’s retail customer!
Talk Talk and Vodafone had both expressed concerns about the proposed deal. There will still be four main networks: BT-EE, O2, Three and Vodafone although Three and O2 are also attempting to merge in a deal that would reduce the number of network operators, but that is under separate scrutiny by the European Commission.
Fact and figures
BT already controls 31% of the fixed-broadband market and 37.6% of home phone traffic
EE currently controls 33.8% of the UK mobile sector
The takeover will cost BT £12.5 billion
BT-EE will have 34.5 million direct mobile subscribers
So what will it mean for customers?
There is a likelihood that with less competition prices could rise, on a more positive note BT and EE have promised to invest billions in Britain’s ‘digital economy’ so there could be significant improvements to services and broadband speeds.
Only time will tell what the true impact on customers will be. The deal is scheduled to complete in March so watch this space!